28 Dec 2014

Wild Oats takes out Sydney to Hobart

7:00 pm on 28 December 2014

Australian yacht Wild Oats XI has secured a record eighth line honours win in the Sydney to Hobart yacht race, ahead of US debutante Comanche.

Wild Oats XI in Sydney to Hobart yacht race 2014.

Wild Oats XI in Sydney to Hobart yacht race 2014. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Under a freshening southerly with a full spinnaker, skipper Mark Richards brought the supermaxi across the Battery Point finish line in first place.

Wild Oats took out the race in two days, one hour and 50 minutes, well outside the race record set by the supermaxi in 2012.

The ABC reports hundreds of people have gathered on Hobart's waterfront to enjoy the sunshine and cheer the yachts as they come in.

Comanche managed to reduce Wild Oats's 30 nautical mile advantage overnight, but it was not enough to get them over the finish line first.

Third-placed Rio100 is leading the rest of the fleet, which is still making its way down Tasmania's east coast, about 100 nautical miles behind.

The handicap winner will be decided later.

Wild Oats' crew was stunned by Comanche's fast break from the line as it led the field of 117 yachts out of Sydney Harbour on Boxing Day.

But as the winds dropped off overnight, Wild Oats came into its own and took the lead down the NSW South Coast.